What is MACD?

The Mississippi Association of Conservation Districts, Inc., or MACD, established in 1945 as a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization is comprised of 82 Soil and Water Conservation Districts in Mississippi. MACD is governed by a 31-member Board of Directors and represents more than 400 District Commissioners throughout Mississippi.

What is a Soil and Water Conservation District?

During the 1930’s, as Americans were recovering from the Great Depression, along came an unparalleled ecological disaster of national consequence. Americans looked out their windows to a black fog of dust, slowly moving across the entire United States. Following one of the most severe droughts in history across the Great Plains, the region’s soil began to erode and blow away, creating great clouds of dust, some of which began to settle in Washington and came to the attention of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Through a Presidential mandate, Congress subsequently passed legislation declaring soil and water conservation a national policy and priority. Congress realized, since about 75 percent of the land in the continental United States was privately owned, that the only guarantee for the success of a conservation program was to garner voluntary support from the landowners.

In 1937, President Roosevelt wrote the governors of all states recommending legislation that would allow local landowners to form soil conservation districts.

The Mississippi Legislature, in 1938, officially recognized that our soil resources were deteriorating at an enormous rate, caused by misuse or improper use of the land and the lack of applied conservation treatment or measures. It was further recognized that if this lack of conservation measures and soil misuse continued, the results would be disastrous.

In efforts to solve the problem, which was primarily soil erosion, the Mississippi legislature enacted the Soil Conservation Law (currently the Soil and Water Conservation Law), in which the State Soil Conservation Committee, now known as the Mississippi Soil and Water Conservation Commission, was created. Provisions were made so that each county could organize a Soil and Water Conservation District.

The governing board of a Soil and Water Conservation District is comprised of voluntary citizens who represent land owners and land users in their districts, and ensure a local voice in conservation.